Some Observations About Today’s News Stories
Sunday January 28th 2007, 11:50 am

Maher Arar
Canadians agree that it is about time that the Prime Minister has compensated and apologized to Maher Arar for our role in his being sent to Syria and tortured for a year. He had been detained at a New York airport in 2002 during a stopover on his way home to Canada, from a vacation in Tunisia. Canada has owned up to their mistake of providing the US with incorrect information about him. I still don’t understand why the United States government sent him to Syria to be tortured, instead of sending him to Canada, because Canada certainly didn’t request that this be done. The United States should at least admit they were wrong to have done this, and remove him from their watchlist, so he will be able to travel in the future. It appears they are inventing information about him in order to justify their actions.

How many other innocent people are, at this moment, being held and tortured, at the request of the US government. The United States government feels that innocent people have no rights when it comes to a suspicion of being a terrorist. Whether this is right or wrong depends on how many checks and balances they have in place. The Prime Minister has vowed to work at trying to get Maher Arar removed from the US watchlist. I hope he won’t be bullied into giving up too soon, as it may take until George W. Bush is out of the White House, before the US government sees the error of their ways.

Robert Pickton
The one thing you have to think about in this situation is, why it took so long for the Vancouver police department to put a task force in place, to find out what was happening to so many Vancouver women. They were all drug addicts and prostitutes, and according to the police, they moved from place to place, with no addresses. It was hard to determine whether they were actually missing or moved to another city. However, most of these women did, in fact, contact their families on a regular basis until one day, they stopped. A recent television news story talked to some of the drug addicts who live on Vancouver’s Eastside, and they were such sad souls, with very evident brain damage, from so much drug abuse. To the police and many people, they seem less than human and not as worthy of our concern, as they seem beyond help. People have more concern about animals who are in trouble. They feel that they are just a blight on the beautiful city of Vancouver. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the police were glad to be rid of them when they received reports that they were missing, but they just didn’t feel it was worth as much effort as investigating other crimes.

It was almost inevitable that someone like Robert Pickton would come along to take advantage of that situation. He was able to operate for years and kill almost fifty women, and the only reason he got caught was because “he got sloppy” he says. Even he was surprised that he wasn’t caught earlier. Prostitutes are the most vulnerable people in our society, and have been the most targeted by serial killers in the past. People, who are in organizations which help them, feel that if prostitution was legalized, they would be safer and better protected by society.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
By far the worst story in today’s newspaper is the report that, thousands of scientists from around the world warn that, if we don’t control our CO2 emissions within the next ten years, damage to the Earth will be irreversible. We will risk runaway climate change that could make parts of the planet uninhabitable. There will be destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef and the forced migration of hundreds of millions of people from equatorial regions. There will be the loss of vast regions of land under rising seas as the ice caps melt. Summers will be unbearably hot, with droughts, and winters will be wet and stormy. This is predicted to happen by 2040 at current emission rates of CO2 into the atmosphere. For years, governments in most countries have been ignoring the warnings, but if they don’t start changing the laws to control emissions from big industry today, it will be too late.

Anne